Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hatchet by Gary Paulson

Hatchet (Brian's Saga Series #1)

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present — and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair — it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

For twenty years Gary Paulsen's award-winning contemporary classic has been the survival story with which all others are compared. This new edition, with a reading group guide, will introduce a new generation of readers to this page-turning, heart-stopping adventure.
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

My thoughts:
My son's teacher read this book to the class and he really seemed to enjoy it.  Since this was not a book I had read before I decided to listen to it.  I wanted to read it partially because I was curious and also to show my son that I listen to his reading suggestions.  I suggest books to my children regulary and take them to the library to make their own selections, so I wanted him to see that I was willing to take their suggestions for books to read as well.

I can see why this book appealed to my son and I liked that Brian's survival was not smooth.  He found out that it was diffiuclt and he was not prepared to live alone in the widerness.  He learned important lessons and had to rely on himself.  He reached the point over and over again where he wanted to quit and felt sorry for himself and he had to move through it and try again.  The option to quit was removed if he wanted to survive. 

This book was a lesson not only of self reliance and persistence, but also in what it would really be like to be alone.  How would a child or even an adult adjust to having no one to rely on and not much in the way of tools to use to make a way through the days?

Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781416936473
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/23/2007
  • Series: Brian's Saga Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen
Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newbery Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Not a whole lot of reading going on this week, which seems to be a bit of a sad trend lately, but I did finish one print book and one audio book.  The print book is a review book that will be posted in January once I find out my assigned date and the audio book should have a short write up this week at some point.

Here is what I read:
The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah Ladd
Hatchet by Gary Paulson

This is hosted by Shelia at BookJourney.  Check out her list of other blogs participating this week!

Free Book!

Emily's life has reached an impasse so large that she has decided that she needs to make some big changes. When she makes her decision, she dives in with her whole being to make changes so that she stops disappearing from her own life. Will all the miles help or hurt her? Will things be different in a new place or will she bring all her emotional baggage with her? Can she be independent and learn to trust again?
Free for four more days for Kindle!  Click here. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Snapshot- Snow play!

 Earlier this month we got enough snow that the children from the neighborhood were able to spend a good part of the day outside creating and playing.  The first thing they made was a snowman/person.  They used teamwork and rolled the snow all over the yards to create it.
Then they knocked it over and made lots of large snow boulders rolling them all over the yards until there were bare patches of snow with grass showing through and dirty snow boulders full of leaves.  We were convinced that the large balls of snow were going to around until spring, but last weekend it got so warm that they actually melted away, which allowed us to find the gloves and hat the snowman had been wearing, but that had been rolled into some of the new creations.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Family Affair by Debbie Macomber

Family Affair

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Lacey Lancaster always longed to be a wife and mother. However, after a painful divorce, she just wants to lay low in her charming San Francisco apartment with her beautiful Abyssinian cat, Cleo.
Everything would be wonderful if it wasn't for her impossible neighbor, Jack Walker, who argues day and night with his girlfriend . . . and whose cat, Dog, is determined to get Cleo to succumb to his feline advances. And when Lacey discovers that Cleo's in the family way, she's furious that neither Jack nor his amorous animal seems terribly upset about it.

But things aren't always what they appear. Jack's "girlfriend" is really his sister—and his intentions toward Lacey are quite honorable (though she's not sure about Dog). And out of the blue, Lacey is discovering the tender joy of falling in love all over again.

My thoughts:
This book was a nice, short read that carries the message that there is always hope.  It can be easy to get discouraged when things go wrong, especially in personal relationships, but it is important to not lose hope and to not mistake getting from day to day as actually fully living your life.  For Lacey, the fact that her husband cheated on her has led her to lack self confidence.  She mistakenly thinks  the issue was with  her and that she is the reason he cheated.  When she can hear her neighbor arguing with the woman she thinks is his girlfriend she transfers some of her relationship issues onto the two of them.  It takes being willing to see the situation without biases for Lacey to be able to move ahead with her life and have the courage to try for what she wants both at work and in love.  A nice starting over book for the end of one year or beginning of the new one.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594454625
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Pages: 102
  • Sales rank: 229

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dark Witch: Book One of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts

First in the all-new Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

Don’t miss the next two books in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

Shadow Spell
Blood Magick
My thoughts:  I have a weakness for Nora Roberts and I love her trilogies.  This one has magic, family, spells and romance.  It includes the interplay between the past and the present and strong family bonds.  All these come together to make it an exciting read.
Iona has longed for a close family all her life, feeling forgotten and unloved by her parents and only cherished by her grandmother.  When she sells all her possessions to move to Ireland to the area her family came from, both her parents question her judgement, but she feels she has made the right decision from the moment she arrives.  In forging a bond with her cousins, Connor and Branna, and finding a job in a stable with horses, whom she has an uncanny ability to communicate with, everything seems to be falling into place.  Except for the dark fog, the dangerous dreams and the words she hears in the mist.  There is real danger in Ireland from a sorcerer who was almost destroyed years ago by a relative.
Iona needs to find the strength and courage to believe in herself and in the love she has for her newfound family and friends to defeat this evil that has been hounding them all.  I have to admit I was sad when I read the last page since it meant I will need to wait for the next book to find out what happens next.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2365 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0749958588
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Last week I was lucky enough to have some extra reading time due to snow days and late starts for school due to snow.  I was able to finish reading a library book without it being late as the library decided not to open due to the weather.  I have been missing my audio books lately as the CD player in the car is still not working, but it has been nice actually sitting down with a book!  I finished two books last week:

Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell (a review book for Litfuse Blog Tours and part of the Quilts of Love Series)
Dark Witch:   Book One of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Short list, but both were very enjoyable books!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell (Qulits of Love)

About the book: Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal town of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt, with one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House where the quilt is stored. Tom Periera, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky coastline, is the caretaker employed by the mysterious absent owner of Gray House.

Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she is drawn out of her self-imposed shell and embraces the family God has given her after her own family failed her. As Kelly reads stories in a journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns there is no transgression beyond God's forgiveness, but the real obstacle is forgiving herself. During her and Tom's journey to grace and love, an unknown force works to keep both of them from discovering a long-buried truth that will change their lives forever.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/r7jlS

About the author: Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of five novels and six novellas for Barbour Publishing with sales topping 250,000. In 2009, Lynette was voted one of the favorite new authors by Heartsong Presents book club readers. Her historical romance, All That Glitters, was a finalist in ACFW's 2010 Carol Awards. When Lynette's not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.

Learn more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com

Landing page: 

My thoughts:  This is the third Quilts of Love book that I have had the pleasure of reviewing for Litfuse Blog tours.  Just as with the other two, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  It has hope, promise. longing for family and love and lasting bonds.
Kelly's work with the damaged quilt she is commissioned to restore is enhanced by her reading of the makers diary and her friendship with the sometimes cantankerous groundskeeper.  Both Kelly and Tom, the groundskeeper, have strong faith, but that doesn't stop them from wondering why some of the obstacles they have encountered in their live were placed in their paths. 
Kelly discovers within Mary Gray's journal a woman who approached marriage with hope and found a life full of loneliness as her husband went to sea as a whaler.  Some of the choices and decisions they both made were questionable, but the pain and heartbreak of them influenced her work on the quilt.
Tom is facing demons from his time in the military and his disabled diagnosis upon discharge.  His feelings of not living up to his parents expectations and his hopes and dreams for the future.
I loved the side note of mystery and the twists towards the end.  It shows how, as much as we want our lives to go smoothly and according to our own plans, we are not in charge of the ultimate path and destiny that lies before us.  Following this story to the conclusion was a pleasure.